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Something about mana I've always wondered

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by cypher132, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. cypher132

    cypher132 Chieftain

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    If a mage specializes in one sphere of magic, would the spells he cast eventually effect him physically and mentally? Here's my idea of what would happen to each depending on their specialization. Of course, only a few types of mana would actually effect you, even if I am just imagining this myself.

    Death: Become gaunt, hair falls out, skin could peel off

    Entropy: Rashes on their bodies, unusual growths, possibly even demonic features

    Chaos: Schizophrenia, visions, basically acting bonkers like the Balseraphs

    Ice: Hair could turn white, gain a resistance to cold, be less resistant to heat

    Fire: Hair could become fire, gain a weakness to cold and water

    Dimensional: Have problems staying in reality, phasing in and out


    I'm too tired to think of any others right now, but if you guys wanna give your input, go ahead. It may not seem that interesting a topic, but it could spawn a very interesting conversation, especially if the Magister gets involved. So tell me what you think. :)
     
  2. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Nature: Treelike feature, slow, ponderous

    Earth: Strong, immovable

    Body: Muscular, Strength
     
  3. mahazel

    mahazel Chieftain

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    Death: Become a Lich? ;)

    Someone described adepts of all spheres in another thread, but I don`t remember where (great person, short stories or something).
    My question - what will happen where some archmage will have 3`th level in both fire and water or life and death (or law and chaos)? :)
     
  4. Ksi

    Ksi Chieftain

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    Ask Kylorin.

     
  5. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I suspect that the use of one sphere of magic does throw off one's internal balance (probably just reinforcing an existing imbalance that led the mage to specialize and excel in said sphere to begin with), but any change extreme enough to cause a change like hair made of fire would certainly kill the mage first. (I don't mean such changes couldn't happen, but that that point the mage would have died and been processed into a demon.)


    The physical elements of the spheres are but a representation of their deeper psychological aspects. Ice isn't actually about low temperatures, it is about stasis, stubbornness, and a passionless reactionary spirit. Fire isn't heat, it is passion. Dimensional isn't so much about phasing from one sphere to another as it is about a focus on defining things and though their relations to others instead of intrinsic worth. In general, you could expect focus on one sphere of magic to bring the caster's personality closer to that of the god of said sphere.













    Air mana would make the user irresponsible. This wouldn't be malicious, but just a severe case of ADHD. It becomes hard to concentrate on what you are supposed to do, since there are a lot more fun and crazy things on which to waste your time.

    Body magic would make the user have trouble controlling his base emotions. He will become increasingly lustful and irritable, and this growing misanthropy would make him a bully.


    Creation mana would make the user more creative. It would increase intelligence, but probably also make the user want to create for the sake of creating, ignoring more practical needs.


    Chaos mana would be rather similar to Body, but the misanthropy is without purpose. You don't dislike people because they get in the way of a strong desire, you just randomly decide to cause innocent people problems. Your behavior would become quite erratic.


    Death mana would probably cause a dour attitude like Arawn's. I guess it could also lead to becoming gaunt, hair falling out, or skin peeling off, but this wouldn't be because of the mana so much as because a mater of death mana wouldn't like to go out very much and wouldn't take care of his body very well. Of course, it could also lead one to become a lich.


    Dimensional makes one focus on relationships at the expense of any intrinsic value. Your worth becomes defined purely in terms of your power over others. The well being of yourself, your family, your kingdom, etc., doesn't matter, as long as as it is better off than that of everyone else. Loved ones become obsessions, and you don't like spending time with them you just need them to be there. All your relationships become highly codependent and unhealthy. You become extremely clingy and domineering, so others become less comfortable around you and want nothing to do with you. You have a very "you're either for me or against me" point of view, so this makes your loved ones enemies who must be destroyed.


    Earth mana is the opposite of Air. It would make a user more responsible, and a harder worker. Users might become a bit dull, but would be very reliable and trustworthy. They might be a little stubborn, but that is mostly because they know their normal habits work.


    Enchantment mana might make the users more charming and friendly


    Entropy mana causes despair. It creates dreams of greatness that you don't really believe you can achieve, and drives you mad with desire. Users become self destructive towards these ends, and eventually just suicidal. They may have rashes etc., but this is mostly because they just aren't taking care of themselves. You can expect them to start cutting themselves, even when it isn't part of a spell. They are dangerous, as misery loves company.


    Fire mana ignites all passions. Whatever a fire uses does, he will take it to an extreme. Users will become obsessive and reckless. Whatever a fire user believes is is more important than life, so they too may seem suicidal, but only where their death furthers a specific goal.


    Force mana makes one care a lot about balance, so users would use it only in moderation and never really be changed a lot by it. They would become fairly sociable, and wouldn't really try to force their will on others but would be very upset when others break their agreements.


    Ice mana makes users very very stubborn. They become passionless, but will defend their habits as strongly as if filled with great passion. Things will always seem to be changing too fast, and they will long to return to how things were when they were younger. They become inactive and bitter. Even while still young, they are essentially grumpy old men. Worrying about how things keep changing could cause premature aging, including white hair.


    Law mana would make one strict, emotionless, and unyielding, to friend and foe alike. It can cause OCD, as following one's personal rituals becomes more important.


    I'm not really sure about life. If I had to guess, I'd say it is rather similar to spirit, making one believe in second chances and being very willing to give up one's power. (Twice a god of life has chosen to give away his precept.) This may mean this one sphere is the opposite of addictive. If it makes the users not keep trying to use it, it may be rather hard to have it cause deeper psychological effects.

    Metamagic probably makes users much more intelligent, but also very aloof from things around them. These scholars tend to miss out on actually living what they study.


    Mind would make one more cunning, but mostly is leads to avarice and insanity. Users seek to own and control everything and everyone around. At first it greatly helps them achieve these goals, but it is unsustainable and when things mess up it drives the user mad.


    Nature leads users to slowly but steady grow in to better, healthier, more mature people. It is continual and unrushed growth, so there isn't really a final state as one becomes wiser. Nature users would be quite patient with tohers as long as they see some progress.


    Shadow mane use would make the user untrustworthy and suspicious of the evil intend in everyone else. Users will cheat more and more because they believe that everyone else is doing the same and they will fall behind if they don't. As cheating is part of the game those few who don't are just stupid and deserve to be exploited.



    It seems like Spirit should make one a kinder, gentler, more caring person, but we have one very good example where that is not the case: Laroth. Laroth frankly seems about as unlike Sirona as one can get. I guess this goes to show that there is more to good and evil than mere spheres, and that mana can have the opposite effects based on the intention with which one uses it.


    Sun mana should make one very curious and very open to all inquiry. Users will not be content with how things appear, but will want to illuminate things further so that everyone understands everyone else. This means users will become increasingly philosophical and more interested in discourse with friend and foe alike rather than attending to any practical concerns.


    Water mana use is calming, soothing away all passion and making the users friendly to all they meet, but not particularly sociable. They become quite content with the status quo, rather than longing for change or for the good old days like fire or ice.












    I suspect that focusing on opposing spheres isn't very common or easy to do because casters tend to focus on and are inherently best at spheres that are already over represented in their souls. I'd guess that if one really could master opposing spheres that each sphere would balance out the other's effect on the casters soul, thus keeping the user quite sane, healthy, and in general a very normal person. That is, of course, if it doesn't rip the user in two and lead to a severe case of multiple personality disorder, where each personality can only use one of the 2 dominant spheres.
     
  6. cypher132

    cypher132 Chieftain

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    Well, I mostly wrote this thread at 3 AM in the morning so I didn't have a complete idea, but to me, death would effect you the most physically. Using death spells could slowly overtime begin to effect your personality and effect your physical well-being. And of course, there's the extreme of becoming a lich through the use of too much death magic. But, then again, there's no such thing as too much death magic. :goodjob:
     
  7. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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  8. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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    more from Magister:

     
  9. talonschild

    talonschild Drive-By NESer

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    There is (somewhere) a thread on what the evil gods were like before they fell, and what the others might be like if they fell. If any people in future stumble upon this thread - hello, future people! - I want to emphasize that no sphere is good or evil as mentioned above, and point you in that direction for further inspiration.
     
  10. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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    That'd be interesting. So I have a question about the Body magic sphere. Does shapeshifting magic and lycanthropy attributed to Body magic, or would Chaos be at work here? Also, could a spell tap into multiple types of mana? For instance, take a spell like Beast Sense, that lets you experience a particular animals senses. I would think that would encompass Nature mana and Mind mana, for tapping into an animal's mind.
     
  11. talonschild

    talonschild Drive-By NESer

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    I think Baron Duin Halfmorn, the archetypal FFH werewolf, was a devotee of Aeron. Bodily strength and uncontrolled impulses and emotions do seem like Aeron's bailiwick.
     
  12. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Actually, Baron Duin Halfmorn was a devotee of Camulos, the God of Chaos and Strife, not Aeron the God of Body and Murder. He was a warlord during the age of magic who worshiped that deity and was already a cannibal long before becoming a werewolf. After his generals turned against him and he had to kill all his soldiers in order to end a civil war, he prayed to Camulos for more followers. The God of Chaos answered his prayer by cursing him with lycathropy, so those he slayed would rise as beasts whom he could dominate. Of course, as is fitting with the chaos sphere, the werewolves he created were never particularly that loyal to him either.

    Duin died during the Age of Magic, but Camulos is more willing than most gods to allow spirits to escape his vault and be resurrected in Erebus. (Normally resurrection spells only work before the sluagh or spirit of the departed has left the plane of Erebus. Once it is claimed by a god and passes to his vault, resurrection is not possible unless the god chooses to send the spirit back to the world of the living.) The God of Strife sent both Duin and Charadon back to stir up trouble.

    It is not completely clear whether there were any werewolves before Duin. It is possible that they were first created by arcane magic, and that Camulos arranged for Duin to be bitten rather than creating a new disease within him.


    Amelanchier's defeat text in Mulcarn Reborn (he is only in that scenario if in the Splintered Court scenario you choose to hand him over to Duin to become a werewolf) says "You have tamed the spirit that ruled me; though you bring me death I thank you for it." That may imply that being a werewolf is a sort of thralldom to demonic possession.

    It appears that a werewolf's transformation in Erebus is not controlled by the cycle of the moon so much as by the cycle of the sun. Sunlight may carry the power of Lugus and help the victim hold on to his true identity. Greater werewolves, who have fully embraced their bestial nature, can change forms at will though. Werewolves infected in utero (like Hati during the Age of Ice, the last werewolf in the world before Duin's resurrection) are stuck in their wolf form.


    Shape-shifting is normally part of the sphere of Shadow rather than either body or chaos. Tens of thousands of living (not demonic) Changelings inhabit Esus's hell. Chaos spells like Wonder can certainly result in shape-shifting too though. Being enthralled to a chaos demon tends to result in wild mutations.


    Uncontrolled impulses and emotions are not really Aeron's domain. His sphere does pertain to base desires, but it also loves structure and sophistication. It tends to be vain and haughty rather than wantonly debased. It prides itself on social dominance even more than on physical strength, and so places great value on the sort of beauty that helps increase one's status. Body may make one abuse those who are of lower status, but would encourage shows of deference to more power individuals so long as they are useful to helping one rise. The Body sphere makes one more like a psychopath in multiple ways, including enhancing glib superficial charm. Chaos overturns hierarchies, while Body works to preserve and strengthen them even while driving an individual to seek advancement within the prescribed bounds. Body may lead one to assassinate a superior in order to make room for advancement, but would not want the victim's demise to mean the death of his office as well. Body would kill a king to replace him with a stronger king, whereas Chaos would kill a king to dissolve the kingdom and plunge the subjects into a civil war.



    I'd say that it is quite possible for spells of multiple spheres to have essentially equivalent effects, even if the mechanics of how they work might be different. Some spells might work best if multiple magic types are combined.

    According to Hemah's pedia entry, "There were three ways to become invisible. Bend light around your body, create an illusion on your body of the surface behind it or simply trick the mind of the person looking at you so that they don't think they see you. It was this last form that Hemah used as he walked into the mage guild."

    Invisibility spells would seem primarily in the sphere of Shadow magic, but the method Hemah used here could very well use Mind instead.


    I suppose that something like Beast Sense could be Nature or Mind, but honestly I think Spirit might work better as animals tend to be more emotional than rational planning creatures. We know from Laroth that spirit magic can be used to sense one's emotions and detect changes of heart long before those feelings actually lead one to plan a course of action. Mind magic might be the best way to know what someone is planning to do (and to force a change in those plans), but spirit would be better for discerning what one wants to do deep down (and evoking sympathies which might change that). If you want to retrieve information from memories, which could include memories of what one has in the past sensed or planned, then Metamagic would best. That wouldn't work so well in real time, but might be the surest way to more complete understanding.

    A particularly powerful use of the metamagic sphere in the lore (not expressed in the game mechanics) is to alter memories, erasing real ones and planting false. There is no possibility of time travel in Erebus, but metamagic offers the next best thing to actually changing he past: changing what absolutely everyone thinks happened in the past. Metamagic mind control could work by making someone think that he had already reached a decision completely at odds with what he had really planed to do. Metamagic could not infringe on a victim's free will directly but can easily change the memories on which the will bases is decisions. Metamagic could work as a retroactive form of the sort of invisibility Hemah used. It could not trick the mind of a person looking at you to think they are not seeing you in that very instant, but could trick the memory so that they later think they never saw you. In the present while they are actually looking at you, the best it could do is make them forget who you are or that you are not supposed to be there. (Are you familiar with The Silence from Doctor Who? I imagine that a power Metamagic archmage like Gastrius could totally work like them. I also like to think that Gastrius did not really die as everyone believes, but rather planted that memory to mask his escape. He could also have abandoned his physical form to become like the Past-Men, existing purely in people's memories but thriving there so long as anyone remembers any story about him. He could change those tales at a whim and weave them together with all the narratives men tell themselves, thus ruling the future by controlling our conception of the past.)

    (I suspect that Laroth studied a bit of metamagic as well as spirit and used it in his Waning ritual, as a major trait of being a Shade is that other people have a hard time remembering you. Rathus Denmora went though the usual channels to study with the Once-Eves and was not at all invisible, but they couldn't remember him ever being there.)
     
  13. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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    So shapeshifting is shadow, yet lycanthropy is chaos, but they're are still some uses of body magic which an archmage experimented on animals with and killed all the fauna of the grigi plains. I was putting together a list of the d&d spells and categorizing them by sphere, but after reading your post I realize with multiple methods of mana use per spell it seems like something I'll leave up to my players. Saves me a bit of work. Also didn't realize Laroth used the waning ritual. Since he didn't actually die in Erebus is he still technically alive in the netherworld? Also, let's say he killed Arawn and ascended to become the new god of death. How would he be different than Arawn, if at all? Wouldn't the death precept make him not care about anything, making his ultimate goal ultimately hollow and unfulfilling?
     
  14. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Laroth did not use the Waning ritual personally in the way the Sidar do. He invented the ritual and allowed knowledge of it to make it back to Erebus in order to use it as a trap. Those who use the ritual to extend their lives have pieces of the spirits drained from their increasingly ethereal bodies and given to Laroth, who can use them to power supernatural weapons like the netherblade.

    Laroth entered the Netherworld alive and could at least in theory leave it alive, but while there does not exist as a physical body. While in that plane of existence, he is in the more ethereal form of a Perditioner. This is similar to the form that the Bannor had while in Hell. Without true physical bodies, perditioners do not need to eat or drink and cannot reproduce. They do not age with time, although effects similar to age (which would show as age if and when the soul returns to Erebus and regains physical form) could be caused by increased emotional maturity or moral degeneration.


    I imaging that rather than merely making one want to resign from the game of life, a corrupted form of the Death sphere could make one want to end it for everyone. If Laroth ascended to God of Death, he might try to kill everyone. He might also turn this sphere to its opposite as much as the fallen Gods did to theirs. Death would then become more like Undeath, which is still an opposite of life. Rather than being about having something worth living for, it would have to do with clinging to existence out of habit and fear of the alternative. The fact that he is gathering souls which are not content with their dreamworld but would rather return to the world of the living suggests that course is more likely. If death becomes about clinging to a listless life, he might stop souls from leaving Erebus and make the whole world like Isle of Nemora once its Well of Creation was closed. What was once a true paradise became a wasteland where neither true life nor true death are possible, as the old and weary will not make way for the fresh and new.

    In Kael's D&D campaigns on which FfH is based, the main antagonist was Tuoni, the one of the Three Brothers who held the Gem of Death. He planned to kill everyone in the whole world, in order to allow him to collect their souls and form an entirely new netherworld for him to rule.
     
  15. talonschild

    talonschild Drive-By NESer

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    Y'know, that makes a heck of a lot more sense than what I was going on about. Oh well, at least I got to use the word "bailiwick".

    Is it still possible that (for example) a user of Chaos magic can still drift towards the good aspects of the sphere - guaranteeing the freedom of all rather than only one's own freedom of action at the expense of others'? Or have the fallen gods corrupted their spheres enough that Chaos drives all who use it to be evil?
     
  16. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Kael has made some comments to the effect that it is no longer possible to use the fallen precepts for their original purpose. (That was about Mind, but it could apply to other spheres like Chaos as well.)

    I prefer to think that it is still possible, just very very difficult to do so for very long without giving in to the growing temptation to align with corruption of the sphere.
     
  17. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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    So a corrupted hod of death would want to claim souls, and not let them rest. Now IIRC, Auric was killed with the netherblade, not the godslayer, right? So if that's the case, his soul would go to Laroth. Do souls captured by the netherblade join Laroth's army, or do they become some kind of power source for hin to draw on. Also, in the first case would Auric join Laroth's spirit army? Either way, would the addition of Auric's power be enough to challenge Arawn? I'm liking the idea of Laroth being the ultimate villain of my campaign, with Auric's ascension being the red herring as his death would give Laroth much more power. Also, even though Laroth is in the spirit realm, would he have living agents in Erebus, knowing or unknowing, like cults for instance?
     
  18. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    The Netherblade binds the souls to the part of the netherworld which Laroth controls and helps him find them, which makes recruiting departed heroes much easier. The Mulcarn Reborn Epologue ends with Laroth explaining his role as the leader of the resistance against Arawn to Ethne and Auric, trying to get them to join his army. It is unclear whether he has some way of conscripting them if they do not volunteer, or forging them into weapons instead of soldiers.

    The deceased Auric does not seem to be under the control of the precept of Ice anymore, so it is not clear what happened to all the power he gained from ascension. I think it is implied that Laroth was intending to make use of it somehow.

    In Kaels D&D campaign, the ascension rituals had gone so far by the time that the player characters had discovered a way to stop them that it stopping them prematurely would destroy the whole world. In order to save the world from Tuoni, they had to help Auric become a god. There was going to be a new evil deity either way, and Auric was the lesser evil.



    The Sidar are the unknowing agents of Laroth.

    The Once-Elves were at one point willing mercenaries of Laroth, but they rebelled after he took them to the land of the dead and enslaved them. Their commander Arak the Erkling had to stay behind to let his sons and followers escape. He might not have done this had he known that his people would continue to serve their old master without knowing it.

    At least one of the Once-Elves remained a knowing and willing agent of Laroth: Waldrun the Necromancer. This evil sorcerer appeared to the young Auric Ulvin to be the oldest of the Once-Elves. I suppose that could be a sign of his moral degeneracy while in a non-physical form in the Otherworld, but it probably just means that he was already older when his people were first hired by Laroth. Experienced mages tend to be older than common foot soldiers. It would not surprise me if he had studied under Laroth during the height of Patria, and was the one to negotiate the contract that ended up enslaving his people.

    When the Once-Elves escaped from the Netherworld to the Shadow Rift, a liminal realm halfway between the world of the living and the dead, they made Arak's oldest son Harlond Gossam their king. Waldrun became his chief adviser (as he probably had been to Arak before him) as well as the commander of the Ostaurii, the guards charged with protecting the Shadow Rift and ensuring that nothing escapes from the Netherworld into Erebus.

    Haerlond Gossam himself would be of true neutral alignment, pragmatic rather than evil. He isn't exactly bad, but is a bad judge of character when it comes to his advisers and is too often swayed by Waldrun. He hates Laroth as much as anyone and would be outraged to learn that Waldrun is still in his service and has been manipulating the Once-Elves to do his bidding.

    It was Waldrun who framed the innocent Talia for the theft of the Heartstone and convinced Haerlond to let him use a lethal form of magic to force her confession. It was Waldrun who arranged for the distractions which allowed Rathus Denmora to enter the Netherworld and receive the Netherblade from an angel in Laroth's employ. It was Waldrun who convinced the young Dain (Auric's childhood friend, not the Amurite leader) to visit his father in the Netherworld and so by their law be forbidden ever to return to the land of the living. Once Haerlond's little brother Varn helped Talia and the children from Brigdarrow out of prison, it was Waldrun who commanded the Obsidian Guards to kill them all rather than let them escape.

    The last we saw Waldrun was when Auric brought down the barrier between the Shadow Rift and Erebus by channeling Sunlight through it. Waldrun and his soldiers were all blinded by this light, which might be temporary but could be permanent. Since Waldrun specialized in forms of magic tied to the unique laws of that liminal realm, his spells ceased to work in Erebus. (He is probably still a decent mage when it comes to more common magics, but less powerful than he was in his own domain.) I don't know what Waldrun is doing now, but is is probably still serving Laroth in some capacity.
     
  19. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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    So the Once-Elves rebelled against Laroth and decided to set themselves up as the guardians of the gate to the netherworld. How come aside from Waldrun they never returned to Erebus? How come they're Once-Elves and not Elves anymore? Is it either because they're dead or because they crossed into the netherworld? What specifically do they believe they're purpose is? Also, when shades die are they mindless soldiers of Laroth or does he have to convince them/use spirit magic to make them serve him too. This is all so fascinating.
     
  20. Diavolo Rosso

    Diavolo Rosso Lord Giggles

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